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2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW

The Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket offers great features such as a full coverage hood, drop tail, excellent sizing, dual vent pockets, and super-breathable eVENT fabric, all at a lightweight 11.9 ounces (size large).

Hightly Recommended

Overall Rating: Highly Recommended

The Montane Quick-Fire eVENT Jacket provides excellent rain coverage, unbeatable breathability and solid ventilation options. At 11.9 ounces (size large), it offers an excellent feature set for the weight. At $330 it’s expensive and it's hard to find outside of the U.K. and Europe, but the quality and attention to detail make this jacket a solid value that can be enjoyed for years. For active pursuits in very wet conditions, the Montane Quick-Fire jacket is highly recommended.

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by Doug Johnson |

2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW

Introduction

The Montane Quick-Fire eVENT jacket is a just-right rain jacket. It offers full coverage with a wire brim hood, drop tail and effective seam taping. The use of very breathable eVENT fabric with dual venting chest pockets and open positions on the cuffs keep you dry during serious exertion. The 11.9 ounce weight (size large) is excellent, given the list of features.

What’s Good

  • eVENT fabric is the most breathable waterproof/breathable fabric around
  • Drop tail keeps you drier than short-cropped jackets
  • Venting chest pockets and open cuff positions for extra ventilation
  • Very effective hood
  • Lightweight at 11.9 ounces
  • Excellent fit and articulation

What’s Not So Good

  • Hood securing system gets in the way
  • Front storm flap with Velcro tabs aren’t as convenient as a waterproof zipper

Specifications

  Year/Model

2006 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket

  Style

Full-zip hooded rain shell

  Weight

measured weight 11.9 oz (337 g) size L, manufacturer’s specification 11.3 oz (320 g) size M

  Shell Fabric

eVENT “Super Lightweight” 3 Layer - 2.51 oz/yd2 (85 g/m2 laminated to oleophobic, air permeable, hydrophobic ePTFE and Nylon Tricot, 20 denier Nylon 66 mini rip-stop, waterproof to a minimum of 30,000mm hydrostatic head with a minimum MVTR of 17,000 g/m2/24hrs

  Features

Rollaway hood with wire brim, drop tail, reflective stripes, two vent chest pockets, front zip with double storm flap and Velcro closures

  MSRP

£ 170 (~$330)

Performance

Rain jackets made from eVENT are the most breathable around. The fabric is so effective that pit zips or other forms of ventilation are rarely needed to keep you drier than with any other fabrics. Sure, there are lighter fabrics, but if you’re hiking in the all-day rain or wet snow that I regularly experience in the Washington Cascades, nothing beats an eVENT jacket. The Montane Quick-Fire is a fantastic example of a lightweight eVENT jacket that blends light weight with a feature set that doesn’t compromise usability.

2006 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW  - 1
The Quick-Fire jacket kept me dry from the outside and the inside during various activities, from snowshoeing in wet snow to long winter mountain bike rides.

The coverage and breathability of the Quick Fire is so good that I stayed dry in the wettest of conditions. When snowshoeing in very wet conditions, I was thoroughly impressed by how dry I remained. When mountain biking I usually either wear a water repellent windshirt and come home a bit wet or wear a jacket made of polyurethane-coated fabric and put up with sweatiness. With the Quick-Fire, though, I could wear the jacket continuously for long rides including highly aerobic uphills and descents through downpours and deep water crossings. This jacket kept me drier than any garment I’ve ever used. The Quick-Fire also excelled in normal hiking conditions.

One downside of eVENT is that it’s almost too breathable at times. When conditions are very cold, a Gore Tex jacket acts as a partial vapor barrier and keeps warm moist air closer to your skin. In these same conditions, eVENT's extreme breathability can leave you feeling just a bit colder.

The lightest eVENT jacket in the Montane line (and one of the lightest hooded eVENT jackets on the market), the Quick-Fire is constructed of a 3-layer “Super Lightweight” version of the fabric. It has a roomy athletic cut - I could comfortably layer a puffy belay jacket underneath or wear the jacket over a thin base layer. It is cut short in the front and has a drop tail that is about 5.5 inches longer. A one-handed adjuster on either side seals the jacket at the hips. I found the jacket’s cut to be comfortable when belaying with a harness, leaning over when mountain biking, or wearing a pack when hiking.

2006 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW  - 2
The Montane Quick-Fire hood offers excellent coverage and adjustability.

I love the hood of the Quick-Fire. It has a broad wire brim that I found easy to adjust on the go and a Velcro tab in the back to raise or lower the brim. It even kept my big nose dry - rare in a hood! One-handed drawcord adjustments sealed the jacket against my face while a DWR “Beardguard” lining was comfortable against my chin without freezing up. The hood is large enough to wear over a climbing helmet but I found it to be a better fit when worn under the helmet.

2006 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW  - 3
The hood rolls up with a fabric strip and Velcro but the long strip sometimes gets in the way when not in use.

One thing I didn’t like about the hood was the roll-up system. A long strip of fabric hangs inside the collar of the jacket, loops through a tab on the outside of the collar and secures with Velcro. While it keeps the hood nicely stashed, it doesn’t roll up the hood as tightly as some other systems I’ve seen and the long fabric strip often got in my way or flipped out of the jacket.

2006 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW  - 4
The Montane Quick Fire eVENT jacket has an athletic cut and a front zipper with a double storm flap.

The front of the jacket closes with a 2-way zipper that can be opened at the top or bottom. A 1.5 inch storm flap protects the zipper and seals with Velcro tabs. I would have preferred a waterproof zipper to simplify the front closure but the system works just fine and provides an effective seal against the elements.

2006 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW  - 5
The cuffs can be cinched up with Velcro and also have a Velcro-secured full-open position for increased ventilation.

When extra ventilation is needed, but the front zipper can’t be opened, you have two options. One is to open the two vented chest pockets. These pockets are placed well above a waist belt, are large enough for a Nalgene water bottle and have waterproof zippers- they are the only pockets on the jacket. The other option is to open the cuffs and secure them at full open for extra ventilation in the arms. This solution is very effective as long as your hands aren’t elevated, as when using trekking poles or an ice axe.

In our 2005 Rainwear Review Summary the Integral Designs eVENT Rain Jacket earned the best score of all the rain jackets reviewed. I used this jacket for 2 years prior to getting the Montane Quick-Fire. While the Quick-Fire weighs about 2.5 ounces more than my Integral Designs jacket, I found the benefits of a full-coverage hood, longer cut, adjustable waist with drop tail, and extra storage and ventilation options more than outweighed the increase in weight. This is my new favorite rain jacket.

At around $330, the Montane Quick-Fire is $50 more than the full-length Integral Designs eVENT Thru Hiker. In addition, it is difficult to procure outside of the U.K. and Europe. However, if you can track one down, the attention to detail, overall quality, and features for the weight make the Quick-Fire a good value, even at that price.

What’s Unique

The Montane Quick-Fire eVENT jacket offers a great feature set and weighs less than 12 ounces. There are lighter rain jackets out there, but none that will keep you as dry in truly wet conditions. This jacket has an excellent performance-to-weight ratio.

Recommendations for Improvement

While the Quick-Fire is a great jacket, I would like to see the following improvements:

  • Redesign the hood stow system to eliminate the long piece of fabric that gets in the way.
  • Add a waterproof zipper to simplify the front closure and to reduce weight.
  • Make the jacket available in the U.S for less than $300.

Citation

"2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW," by Doug Johnson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2007_montane_event_quick-fire_jacket_review.html, 2007-04-24 03:00:00-06.

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2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW on 04/24/2007 22:36:12 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
quickdraw Quickfire questions on 04/24/2007 23:14:16 MDT Print View

That's an awfully expensive hardshell. We can only hope the exchange rate will improve (hah!). Montane continues to make well designed garments with a large focus on keeping the weight down. Good to see real functional cuffs that can be opened and some attempt at venting options on such a light shell. Nice to see weights given for different sizes in the review.

My continuing question about eVENT is will the PFTE membrane lose it's oleophobic qualities and eventually be contaminated w/ dirt, salts, body oils and subsequently leak or otherwise degrade. I'm thinking both long trip scenarios and long term use.

Secondly, will we ever see lighter forms of eVENT? Outdoor Research proved that a real sub 10oz.hardshell jacket using a top tier W/B material that was not cut ridiculously short, is possible (in the case of the Zealot and Celestial, using Goretex Paclite).

Edited by kdesign on 04/24/2007 23:37:55 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: 2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW on 04/25/2007 01:00:29 MDT Print View

I'm not sure why having the velcro stormflap is considered a drawback. When walking hard and ventilation is a big consideration, but the rain is coming down strong, closing just the velcro tabs, but leaving the zipper open will provide excellent ventilation, no?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: 2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW on 04/25/2007 04:11:26 MDT Print View

> closing just the velcro tabs, but leaving the zipper open will provide excellent ventilation, no?
Yep, too right.

The GoLite Zealot has a 'waterproof' zip. It isn't really waterproof in my experience, and both my wife and I have trouble getting the ends together to do it up. That's with bare hands in warm weather. In cold weather (like in the snow) it becomes ... VERY hard to do, and impossible with gloves on. Nice idea, but no thanks.

Cheers

Andy Dixon
(sideshowandy) - F
Montane Quickfire Review on 04/25/2007 05:17:36 MDT Print View

scientic studies at Leeds (UK) University clearly show that waterproof zippers are not reliable. they reported that the only guaranteed waterproof setup is double stormflaps with a drain channel - exactly as the Quickfire is built!

edit - forgot to add that manufacturers suggest that EVent must be kept clean with frequent washing and reproofing to maintain high performance levels.

Edited by sideshowandy on 04/25/2007 05:39:53 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Check this website - might be a good deal! on 04/25/2007 06:13:45 MDT Print View

I googled this jacket looking for $US sales on this item and found this ...

http://www.outdoorgb.com/p/montane_event_quick_fire_jacket/

Andy Dixon
(sideshowandy) - F
Montane Quickfire - best deal on 04/25/2007 07:08:47 MDT Print View

As far as I'm aware this is the best deal around at the moment

http://www.craigdonmountainsports.com/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Montane_Mens_Event_Quickfire_Jacket_800.html

approx $200 - but I don't know if they'll ship abroad!

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: Montane Quickfire Review - storm flaps on 04/25/2007 07:34:36 MDT Print View

Montane uses a similar storm flap design on the Featherlite H20 jacket - see this week's spotlite reviews.

This design works great for keeping out weather, but is a genuine hassle to operate, IMHO. The velcro tabs join the flaps join together, even when you are trying to operate the zipper, making the most basic function of simply unzipping the jacket an annoyance. I think this design needs more thought to come up with a way to close out weather without being a hindrance to the simple operation of the zipper. Other users may find this less of an issue - but I found it to be a genuine design issue.

Gary Pikovsky
(gosha007) - F - M

Locale: New Hampshire White Mountains
British invasion on 04/25/2007 08:27:09 MDT Print View

Doug, Will, Ryan and BPL,

Really glad to see Montane jackets reviewed on your website. The more the better. How about doing a review of Rab's new eVent shell line as well? If it wasn't for your site, I'd feel like I'm the only person in the States wearing Rab and Montane. Thank you.

I have the Rab Super Dru and some older Montane shells. Super Dru, at 14oz is not the lightest basic shell, but with all the features on it its not a basic, but a superb technical shell with full hood protection, padding and helmet compatibilty. By far the best jacket I've worn. The subtleties are worth it.

It would be great to see some more of these jackets reviewed.

Gary

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
A possible "fix" for sticky velcro. on 04/25/2007 08:37:57 MDT Print View

Don,

Maybe a "fix" to the sticky velcro problem would be to sew a flap of sil-nylon over the velcro on the storm flap. This could be the same size as the velcro strips and simply tacked with tread at the top of each strip.

Of course, to close the velcro one would have to move the sil-nylon strips out of the way. So, this probably doesn't solve the problem but reverses the problem.

At least one could choose one's problems to deal with. I wish we had that choice in other aspects of life!

Mike

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Best Deal on 04/25/2007 09:28:17 MDT Print View

Andy,

I checked with craigdon mountain sports. They do not ship outside the EU. :-(

Mike

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Montane Quickfire - best deal on 04/25/2007 09:38:29 MDT Print View

.

Edited by pappekak on 04/25/2007 09:41:29 MDT.

Thomas Delker
(tdelker) - F

Locale: Colorado
eVent leaks? I might have experienced this... on 04/25/2007 10:03:35 MDT Print View

On our 2005 thruhike of the AT both my wife's and my Integral Designs eVent jackets got VERY damp inside during a 3 day streach of rain through the Shananadohs. We both agreed they leaked. We thought the might have been hurt from an incident with housekeeping and a can of Raid back in Fontana Dam (they did buy my wife a new jacket which was real nice of them. My jacket was hardly misted). However, we contacted ID, they exchanged the jackets. Great! Good customer service. But... around Maine, mine started to get moist on the inside during some bigger storms. It really seemed to be leaking again. It still seems to leak. I still have this jacket.

So, I have had 3 jackets now that look like they might be leaking. It's hard to say 100% that they do leak. I would love to give my jacket to a test lab to see if they can see if it does leak...

Gravity Ga-Me 2005

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: eVent leaks? I might have experienced this... on 04/25/2007 12:17:21 MDT Print View

Thomas - The WPB "I think it might be leaking" phenomenon is most frequently caused by the jacket's outer surface wetting out from abrasion and/or frequent rain.

You can determine if this is the problem by doing a simple test using a water faucet. Put the jacket on and then put your lower arm under the running faucet for a minute. Note if the water beaded up and rolled off or wetted any part of the surface. Next take off the jacket and put one of the shoulder strap areas under the faucet for a minute. Again note if the shoulder strap area surface water beaded up and rolled off or wetted any part of the surface.

If any part of the outer surfaces got wet (wetting out), your DWR needs replenishing and the eVENT membrane is not leaking. Most DWR treatments will only last between 30 and 60 miles of abrasion before they wear off.

Edited by richard295 on 04/25/2007 13:16:56 MDT.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
front and back length of eVent Quick-Fire on 04/25/2007 12:45:15 MDT Print View

Doug,

It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures - can you (or anyone else that has tried one on) please comment on the length of the jacket in front and back. Is the front length generally long enough to partially cover or fully cover your privates, and is the drop tail long enough to fully cover your butt? Since I often walk in warmer weather without rain pants, except when above treeline, I prefer longer shells (unable to find a shell long enough of highly breathable material, I may give in and buy or make a rain kilt). Been eagerly waiting for a review of this shell for a while - thanks for the informative writeup!

I'd also like to second that "waterproof" zips can often fail and they are super difficult to operate in cold weather with gloved hands. A storm flap might add a bit of weight, but it also adds bombproof protection for those who live or walk in very rainy areas.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Water Resistant Zips on 04/25/2007 12:57:43 MDT Print View

There seems to be a wide range of quality of the so-called waterproof zips even by the same manufacturer. With the YKK's that I'm familiar with, 2 ( on a Beyond Fleece and a Wild Things softshell jackets) have given me no trouble at all after a couple of years. Another zip on a different jacket, failed within weeks and was extremely difficult to operate from day 1.

Patagonia no longer uses these zips, I've noticed, opting for more conventional designs w/ flaps.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: eVent leaks? + Water Resistant Zips on 04/25/2007 14:50:56 MDT Print View

Thomas,
as Richard noted, a failing DWR is often the cause of what is experienced as a leaking jacket. I had the same thing happen with my paclite jacket at the sleeves. To find out if the jacket was really leaking or that the DWR had failed, I took it to a retailer who has a simple device to test the waterproofness of a jacket (using a a bit of water, a tissue to test leaks and a handpump to build up pressure). Not a drop of water came through at exactly the same spot where I had experienced possible leaks. For me it clearly showed what an effect DWR has on breathability and preventing condensation.

About the waterproof zips, I wonder how big the variation in quality is. My Arc'teryx paclite with the original waterresistant zips has never given me a problem, even in heavy rain. I agree they are a bit harder to operate although I neve experienced any real problems. The newer vislon waterresistant zips are supposed to be easier to operate although I haven't read a review about experience with it. BTW, as far as I know, Patagonia is still using these waterproof zips and presently, not a single jacket of them has an external rainflap.

Edited by Woubeir on 04/25/2007 14:53:18 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Patagonia zips on 04/25/2007 15:02:50 MDT Print View

I stand corrected on Patagonia zips (sorta). Some softshells or their successors that had waterproof zippers a few years back now have water-resistant ones w/ an external flap. Some of the more bomber Hardshells ( Spraymaster) use their newer waterproof zips in conjunction with an internal "windflap". Some like the Jetstream just have a waterproof zipper.

Edited by kdesign on 04/25/2007 15:08:10 MDT.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Best Deal on 04/25/2007 16:22:54 MDT Print View

... but these guys do seem to:

http://www.outdoormania.co.uk/ProductsByCategory.aspx?CategoryID=1

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: front and back length of eVent Quick-Fire on 04/26/2007 16:14:44 MDT Print View

Great review Doug!

I'll second the question: can someone compare the length to the ID Thruhiker or other similar jacket?

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Length pretty please; including shell length in BPL reviews on 04/26/2007 16:46:53 MDT Print View

I'm eagerly awaiting front and back length. Have a similar shell of similar material which might be a little short for my taste and torso (which is on the long side - I typically fit a L/XL pack frame) - would make my day to learn that the Quick Fire is as long as I hope it is. I emailed Montane but never heard back from them.

BPL Staff and members: It would be great if we could include fairly accurate front and back length for shells (neck seam to bottom of front and back hem). Because of differences in torso lengths, it can be very hard to make out how long a shell is from a casual description by one tester or a photo on one tester. I'll try to include this data in any new reviews I post.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Montane length, zipper closure on 04/26/2007 21:38:33 MDT Print View

Hello all,

The front hits me at the, uh, privates. The rear covers my entire bum very nicely. :-) It is a size L and I'm 6'1" with a med-long torso.

As far as the zipper comments, I went straight from an Integral Designs Rain Jacket with a waterproof zipper to this jacket. The ID zipper was totally waterproof and I never had any issues (and I live in Washington so it saw PLENTY of rain). That includes windblown rain and sleet. The Montane zipper was equally waterproof (I can't say more waterproof but I suppose it has the potential for this). However, the Montane was more difficult to use, with its velcro tabs (as mentioned above). It's not horrible by any means, but I'd happily trade for the simpler closure system.

Hope that answers a couple of questions!

Doug

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Montane Quick Fire Length on 04/26/2007 21:53:53 MDT Print View

Hi Doug,

Would you say that the front of the jacket is longer than the ID jacket, of equal length or shorter?

Would you say that the front of the jacket is longer than the Montbell Peak Jacket (assuming you've seen one/tried it on)?

If you have the opportunity, could you measure your size large from neck seam to bottom of the front hem?

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Montane Quick Fire Length on 04/26/2007 22:20:18 MDT Print View

Would you say that the front of the jacket is longer than the ID jacket, of equal length or shorter?

A bit longer- working from memory but I'd guess a couple of inches longer in front.

Would you say that the front of the jacket is longer than the Montbell Peak Jacket (assuming you've seen one/tried it on)?

Never tried that.

If you have the opportunity, could you measure your size large from neck seam to bottom of the front hem?

61.5cm

Hope that helps!

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Comparing ID Thru Hiker and Montane Quick Fire Length on 04/27/2007 16:37:32 MDT Print View

Here's the length of an ID eVENT Thru Hiker from neck seam to bottom of front hem:

64.0. cm
That's for a size XL, so I would expect a size large to be in the range of 61 to 62 cm - almost exactly the same as the Montane Quickfire.